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Advice greatly appreciated!

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“My chest hurts.”  Anyone in the medical field knows this is a statement that cannot simply be brushed off.  Mary was a patient we brought to and from dialysis three times a week, on those dreaded BLS shucks.  At the young age of 88, her mind was starting to go and her stroke history rendered her hemiplegic, reliant on us for transport.  Mary would stare through us and continue conversations with her late husband, insist she was being rained on while in the ambulance, and manipulate us into doing things we would never consider for another patient, i.e. adjust pillows an absurd amount of times, and hold her limp arm in the air for the entirety of the 40 minute transport, instead of working on charts. But it was Mary, and Mary held a special place in our hearts just out of desire to make her slightly less miserable.  Mary was always feeling “just terrible,” but never complained of anything more than a stiff neck and arm pain.  So, that Thursday afternoon when she nonchalantly stated she had chest pain, it raised some red flags.  With a trainee on board, the three-man crew opted to run the patient to the ER three miles up the road emergent, rather than waiting for ALS.   I rode the call, naturally, it was Mary, and she was my patient.  Vitals stable, patient denies breathing difficulty and any other symptoms.  During the two minute transport I called in the report over the wail of the sirens, “history of CVA and… CVA.   Mary look at me.  Increased facial drooping; stoke alert, pulling in now.”  Mary always had facial drooping, slurring, and left sided weakness, but it was worse.  I’ve taken her every week for six months, but this time I was sitting on her right side.  We took her straight to CT, and I have not since seen her.  Mary was my patient, and everyone knew it.


We hear “life is too short” all the time, but how many people have been on scene after a heartbroken mother rolled over on her four-month-old, and you work that child like its your own, knowing she’s been down too long.  As a healthcare provider, you have those patients that make it all worth it; That remind you why you keep going back for the MVAs, amputations, overdoses, three year old with fishhook in his eye, 2 year old down a flight of stairs, Alzheimer’s patient who doesn’t understand why they’re being strapped to the stretcher, 302 who pulls a gun, pancreatic cancer patient who vomits blood on you while you’re at the bottom of the stairchair and there’s not a thing you can do about it until you get down two more flights of stairs.  EMS has given me more experience, hope and disappointment than I could have ever asked for as an undergraduate.  It has done nothing short of fuel my desire for advancement in the medical field.


It appears clinicians are being spread too thin resulting in patients receiving care that is subpar.  The unique relationship between a physician and physician assistant (PA), is a significant advancement in medicine, which allows for a greater number of patients to receive more focused, personalized care from mid-level practitioners.  As PAs, we are able to take some focus off of the shortfalls of our current healthcare system, and place them back on patient care.  Just from my time volunteering/shadowing in the ER, and interacting with clinicians during my time in EMS, it is easy to see that physicians have to be in and out of patient rooms within five minutes in order to meet face-to-face with all of their patients, while PAs seem to be able to spend more time speaking with the patient, and obtaining a more thorough history, which is vital to seeing the patient as a whole and not just acute symptoms.   The ability of PA to render care autonomously, or under close direction of a supervising physician offers PA a unique niche in the medical community, one I am excited to be a part of. 



“The contest is a lion fight.  So chin up, put your shoulders back, walk proud, strut a little.  Don’t lick your wounds.  Celebrate them.  The scars you bear are the sign of a competitor.  You’re in a lion’s fight.  Just because you didn’t win, doesn’t mean you don’t know how to roar.”  The countless hours of procrastination watching the medical inaccuracies of Grey’s Anatomy, the breathtaking visuals in House MD, and the thrill of ER, have, if nothing else, given me hope.  Hope that someone will see past my mediocre GPA and undergraduate transcript, and afford me the second chance I know I deserve.  I proved my capability and motivation in high school and my last two years of college when I refocused my goals and plan.  I am ready, prepared, and willing to do whatever it takes to reach my aspiration of providing the highest quality care of which I am capable. 

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I understand that this is a draft, but there is too much wrong with this. Im going to list everything I see as I read sentence by sentence. Please take my critique as constructive.

  1. After reading this, I cant help but state how cringe-worthy it was.
  2. Your statement not only was extremely informal but lacked no proper flow or sentence structure. For instance, you used too many self-identifying nouns, such as "I" and "me". 
  3. You caught my attention with your first couple of sentences in your first paragraph, however, I lost interest the second you kept rambling on about the patient. All I kept thinking is "where is he going with this?" And in the end where did you go with it?
  4. The second paragraph had nothing to do with the first paragraph. Continue talking about the patient and the experience that reinforced you wanting to be a PA.
  5. "As PA's we are able to take some focus..." Who is this we? This is a reflection of the past not an assumption of the future. 
  6. The quote in the last paragraph, which Im assuming is from Greys Anatomy, came out of nowhere. 
  7. Where is the conclusion? or even a topic sentence? All I see here are body paragraphs that you just wrote up without any thought on order for sentence structure and topic flow. 
  8. Overall, you need to have a theme, something that is not a cliche, that you continue to discuss  and can reiterate the point with a TOPIC, BODY, AND CONCLUSION. If you are going to talk about your poor grades but endeavor to redeem yourself then start with that quote, also cite it somehow, and build from there. It may be a cliche but people like a redemption story - You can include your experiences as an EMS that reinforced your aspirations to be a PA.. Even mention any professors who influenced your change in study habits. 
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The above comment is harsh, but I think he or she is right here. Too many unnecessary details and not enough reflection and insight into your experience, motivation to become a PA. It's fine to tell stories in your essays and I actually encourage it, but you spend too much space doing so. 


On the bright side, you have a nice writing style. It's the content that needs work. 


Just my two cents. 

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